Milan Badelj, a representative of the Croatia national team and a player of the Fiorentina football club, was given a great honor and tough task after asked to speak at the funeral of his fallen teammate, Davide Astori.
Davide Astori, Fiorentina’s beloved captain, passed away unexpectedly over the weekend from a heart attack – shocking the entire football world. Croatian footballer Milan Badelj, Astori’s Fiorentina teammate and vice-captain of the team, was asked to deliver a eulogy on behalf of the Florence club to over 10,000 admirers of the team’s late leader at his funeral held at the Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence, reports Index.hr on March 8, 2018.
After the brother’s of Astori delivered their heartfelt tribute, Badelj took the stage, speaking through his tears.
“Dear Davide, I speak on behalf of my team-mates and the purple family: Your name in Hebrew means ‘beloved’, and to see all those who are here today to show you affection, I believe this is really your name.
“Davide, with your eyes you can get inside people and stay there. You are not like everyone else; you are the one that even if you did not know the languages well you managed to talk to all of us, speaking with the heart and keeping us united. You have the gift of the universal language of the heart.
Your mother, your father, must know that they have done nothing wrong with you. You are exactly the son and brother that anyone would want to have.
You’re the best teammate a guy can dream of having. Having you at our side makes us feel safe, thinking, ‘it’s okay because Davide is here’.
We cannot forget your laughter, your way of joking with everyone. You [as a] ‘world famous designer and footballer in your free time’, as you loved to define yourself. You are football, the pure one of children.
Our thoughts go to your family, to Francesca and Princess Victoria. The task of all those close to her will be to tell her who Davide is, because your daughter growing up will have to know who her father was. A great man.
I will finish with an anecdote. In the morning, when you arrived in the physiotherapy room, you were always the one to turn on the light. You are this for all of us; you are light. Thanks, Davide,” spoke Badelj, which was transmitted in full by Sports Bible.
The crowd, deeply moved by Badelj’s poignant words, could not hold back praise for the Croatian footballer multiple times during the tribute.
You can watch Milan Badelj’s touching eulogy below.